The cheapest cost of living in Japan

Matome Culture & Lifestyle
Thursday, February 02, 2017 at 19:57

Lets live "small" in Tokyo

Tokyo City
Tokyo City
It is said living cost in Tokyo is pretty expensive.
Yes it is true, the house rent, food, taxis, everything is so expensive. I heard many people who would like to live in Japan. Since author is Japanese, I really love to hear it. But they also say, it seems it costs a lot to live in Japan. That is why I decided to write this article because I want as many people people as possible to visit and try out living in Japan.
In this article, I would like to say "there is always a way out."

Okay Lets start then.

Apartment Rental: $700/month

Kamata share house
Kamata share house
This is the biggest enemy. Land price is so expensive in Tokyo.
The most expensive location is Ginza where land price is $380,000 for 1 square meter.
But these price are actually very exceptional. There are many cheaper places in Tokyo.

One of my recommendation is Kamata station. Kamata station is underestimated. Even though Kakama station is a big station on Keihin Tohoku Line train. and only 10 min on train to Shinagawa, which is a hub station, not so many people want to live there because Kamata station is not a cool station. Everybody wants to go to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Harajuku station.

And moreover, you can use share house. Normal apartment is comfortable, but sometimes hard to get friends at apartment because every room is separated.
But using share house, you only have one room and share living room, rest room and shower room with others which means you can easily get friends both from foreign countries and from Japan.
And as a matter of course, cheap.
Even Kamata, it ususally costs $700~$800/month. However in the share house you can live with around $450/month with your personal room.

Here is a sample.
Kamata share house personal room
Kamata share house personal room
Kamata Share house kitchen
Kamata Share house kitchen
Kamata Share House bathroom
Kamata Share House bathroom
This house is 10 min away from Shinagawa station and 13 min to Kamata Station.
Small room but good enough to live. You get WiFi and bathroom, kitchen, small living room and only $450/month.

If you google "東京 シェアハウス カクヤス", you can find many of these kind.
Okay then let's suppose you live in here.
Your house rent is $500/month.
シェアハウス(東京都大田区蒲田)のご案内。シェアハウスならインターワオ。東京(23区)神奈川(横浜・川崎)東急線・京浜東北線圏で外国人・学生・女性専用あり。国際交流1stハウスで禁煙ハウス充実で専業14年。
Kamata share house and other listings

Food expenses: $250/month

Food
Food
Japanese foods are really expensive. These days, price of vegetable keeps rising so is other ingredients.
Here is an advice, don't try to cook your own food unless you are super good at cooking. The ingredients sold in Japanese restaurants are meant for family. therefore it is too big sized for one guy to consume. And you will end up buying too many for expensive price and can't use them all.

Therefore If you live alone, I recommend you to buy frozen foods and use it in combination with steamed rice.
You can steam rice yourself. You can buy rice at cheap price online. All you have to do is to steam rice everyday and microwave frozen food.
If you refrain from attending party or event. You can live at around $250/month.
This is the bottom line. If you try to eat something better or you want to attend a party or want to eat at restaurant, food expense can easily be more than $500.
You have to be careful on this.

Water & Sewege Bill: $25/month or Free

Water tap
Water tap
Water expense is cheap. Only $25/month in average.
Restroom 28%, bathroom 25%, tap 20% and the rest is laundry and so on.

BUT, if you live at share house, water expense is often included in house rent fee.
That is one reason I recommend you to use share house also.

Electricity Bill: $45/month or Free

Electricity bill
Electricity bill
Electrical charges are subject to change by how you use it.
If you live alone and have one laptop, stereo device, microwave, laundry machine and TV, electrical charges would be around $45/month.

Gas Bill: $40/month or Free

Gas meter
Gas meter
If you use hot tub and you take a bath everyday, gas bill would be around $40/month.

Internet Bill: $30/month or Free

If you make contract with high speed network company at limitless bandwidth plan.
It will be $10/month + provider cost for $20/month.

BUT, if you use share house, it also can be free of charge.

In this article I set internet bill to be $30/month.

Phone Bill: $30/month

If you use sim free phone and cheap sim card, phone bill would be around $10/month with 5GB bandwidth limit.
With 7GB limit, it would be around $30 to $50 a month.

In this article I would like to set phone bill around $30/month.

Social Expense: $250/month

Social expenses mean a price to go have fun with your friends and girl friend/ boyfriend if you have one.

The amount of this expense depends on your life style so much.
But lets set it as $250 including incidental expenses.

In total = ????

Total living cost In japan!
Total living cost In japan!
Let's sum them up!!

Apartment rental fee = $700
Food expenses = $250
Water bill = $25
Electricity bill = $45
Gas bill = $40
Internet bill = $30
Phone bill = $30
Social expenses = $250

Total = $1370 USD.

The result turned out to be $1370 USD a month is the bottom line to live in Tokyo.

If you don't care so much about privacy or like to live with other people, you can choose to live in a share house. You can cut down your apartment rental cost, electricity, gas, water, and internet bills, which turned out to be 1370 - 250 - 25 - 45 - 40 - 30 = $980 USD a month.

Considering a leeway (such as health care cost and taxes) let's set the minimum cost to live in Tokyo as $1500 USD a month.

I think if you can at least earn $1500 USD a month, then you can live in Tokyo!!
So if you are interested to live in Japan, make sure you have at least about $18,000 savings, or you can look for a job that can pay you salary for at least ¥150,000 JPY/month.

I am waiting for you guys come and live in Japan!!!!

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Comments 4

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  • kprovost7314
    Wow that's expensive o.o
  • beeant
    There seemed to be a mistake before. 970k USD was just too expensive lol. Only millionaires could live.
  • DragonR33UA
    Wow, if someone would like to live in Tokyo minimum 150,000 per month. And this is nearly nothing. In other words if person want to have a normal life then only 250,000. Not even a cent less.
  • vietproict
    look good

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